Musings on Heartbreak and the Human Journey

Often we believe heartbreak is to be avoided; something to guard against, a chasm to watch for and then walk carefully around. The hope is to live without it and to taste as little of it as possible, but all evidence is to the contrary of these child-like hopes.

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Taking Flight: Do you ever want to run away?

To want to run away is an essence of being human. It transforms any staying through the transfigurations of choice. To think about fleeing from circumstances, from a conflict, marriage, relationship, work, a ministry or congregation is part of the conversation itself and helps us understand the true distilled nature of our own reluctance.

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In Word and Prayer

Appreciative Inquiry was introduced to the group as a way to celebrate what is going well in ministry as well as address the very difficult conversations around diversity and the places where we need to grow. As we introduced ourselves in an ice breaking conversation—where we lived, our conference affiliation, what we brought to the table and what we hoped to gain from this experience—the words people shared were intriguing.

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An Appreciative Inquiry Parable

Appreciative Inquiry offers new hope and new possibilities for congregations in the midst of change. Church leaders can invigorate their congregations by focusing on strengths and re-imagining the future. When done in the context of discerning God’s call, we celebrate what God has done and what God can do through the people of Jesus Christ.

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A Reflection for Ministry: Meeting our Shadows

When individuals and groups are aware of the shadow, their own and others, they are more accepting, forgiving, compassionate and loving, acting for justice while having mercy, honor and humility. To change the shape of ourselves is to change the shape of the shadow we carry and cast. To become transparent is to know, accept and relate to one’s shadow appropriately. I have heard people say that we can lose our shadows altogether, but I think to be human is to carry a shadow

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Lent and Confession: A Model for Individuals and Leaders

Declaring a new dispensation by confession, we see our trespasses against others in a new light, initiated by something we were hiding not only from the world but also from ourselves. Holding the secret was not only a defense against punishment but also a holding back from our next outrageous step. To separate the confusion of punishment with revelation, we first of all confess to ourselves, step onto solid ground in the privacy and spaciousness of our own hearts, minds and moral imaginations and then translate it into the best speech we have to represent it in the world.

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Conflict – What are the Costs?

Stuck inside a conflict, we may struggle to tally the costs, or we feel like the justification is worth the cost. But intentional work around tallying the cost can be helpful to the minister/leader, the congregation/organization and the family.

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